A farewell to Gustavo Scarpa

Gustavo Scarpa arrived in January 2018. The player had rescinded his contract with Fluminense because of missing payments. São Paulo and Corinthians also wanted the player, but he chose the green side of the force.

His first year wasn’t easy. After not netting in his first seven games for Palmeiras, he scored a brace against Ituano for the Paulistão in March. That would be his last game for Palmeiras until July. Between a decision in favor of Fluminense prohibiting him of playing for another team and that year’s World Cup, Scarpa didn’t play for four months.

When Felipão arrived, Scarpa was having a nice sequence of games, but an injury took him out for another two months. He returned in time for the last rounds of the Brasileirão that year, playing a few minutes in the title-winning match against Vasco and scoring a goal in the last round against Vitória.

The next year was not good for Palmeiras and Scarpa suffered the consequences. He scored his most beautiful goal for Palmeiras against Grêmio in the Libertadores, but to no effect as Verdão was eliminated at home in the second leg. During the melancholic final part of the season, he missed a penalty against Corinthians and ended the year without a lot of fans among supporters.

In the beginning of 2020, Scarpa’s journey at Palmeiras almost ended prematurely. He received a proposal from Almería and wasn’t included in the Palmeiras squad that traveled to play the Florida Cup. The deal didn’t progress, and he had no other option than staying.

His performance under Luxemburgo was at most regular. One of the few highlights was the penalty badly taken against Corinthians in the Paulistão final. Luckily, the ball went under Cassio’s hand and died in the back of the net, helping Palmeiras to win that penalty shootout and the title.

The arrival of Abel Ferreira changed everything for Scarpa. The Portuguese coach had only Viña as an option for the left-back. During a training practice he asked if another player could make himself available for the position. Renan and Scarpa answered his call.

Scarpa received a lot of praise from Abel in the games that he played as a left-back. However, Viña was the owner of the position and Scarpa wasn’t fielded in any of the finals Palmeiras played that season – Santos in the Libertadores and Grêmio in the Copa do Brasil.

During Abel’s second season things started to improve for Scarpa. He was the top assister in the 2021 Brasileirão with 13 assists, playing mostly as a midfielder. But in the games that were the mark of that season, he was lined-up as a starter in the left-back. In the Libertadores final against Flamengo and in the Club World Cup final against Chelsea, Scarpa played the whole 120 minutes of each game as a left-back, putting out excellent performances.

Having now earned the trust from Abel and the supporters, Scarpa farewell season was his best with Palmeiras. He scored his first Libertadores hat-trick and was involved in 19 goals in the Brasileirão (7 goals + 12 assists). It was his most prolific season in the national league, and that earned him the MVP recognition from the Brazilian Federation and from the Bola de Prata, a traditional prize in Brazil.

Gustavo Scarpa leaves Palmeiras through the front door. During his time here, he was directly responsible for 92 goals (42 goals + 50 assists) in all competitions. 24 players received his passes to score a goal for the Big Green, Rony taking the biggest profit out of him, having scored 7 goals assisted by Scarpa.

Besides the exhibitions and the titles wearing green, Scarpa has the admiration and the respect from all supporters. He is a different kind of player. He solves Rubik cubes, enjoys skateboard and reads a lot of books. He shares the dream of playing in Europe, like most of Brazilian players, and his mind had been made up some time ago already. His opportunity has came and although everybody wanted him to stay, he is leaving for Nottingham Forest. Best of luck, Scarpa!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi

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